Donald Trump had good reason to tout the support he received last year from Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who raved about the GOP nominee in a speech during the Republican National Convention. Openly gay and a fixture in a tech world that’s generally suspicious of Trump, Thiel was proof that Trump had crossover appeal that extended well beyond his base in rural and small-town America.
Thiel, whose loyalty was rewarded with a spot on Trump’s Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee, remains a strong supporter of the president in public. But in private, according to BuzzFeed, Thiel is much more pessimistic. The venture capitalist has told friends that the administration is “incompetent” and that Trump would have a hard time being re-elected. He also reportedly said “there is a 50 percent chance this whole thing ends in disaster.”
These revelations might seem damaging, but Thiel has little reason to worry if his gamble on Trump turns out to be a losing bet. He will still be rich enough to bankrupt independent media organizations, and he also has citizenship in Germany and New Zealand. If this presidency ends in “disaster,” the price will be paid by others. Thiel, as always, will get away scot-free.